IRS Funding Cuts? Plus, Donald Trump and the 14th Amendment; And a Shocking Report on Israeli Intelligence
Author: Greg Valliere
October 31, 2023
THE IRS FUNDING has been a volatile political issue, proponents say it will crack down on wealthy tax cheats while raising money; opponents say the measure will produce a more intrusive IRS. Biden’s Israeli aid does not include any revenue offsets to pay for the bill.
THE CONTROVERSIAL IRS PROPOSAL initially passed as part of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which was enacted last spring. It already has been sliced by $20 billion as part of the deal to raise the debt ceiling.
THE GOP BILL WOULD PARE BACK funds for most parts of the IRS expansion, including increased enforcement and a new online portal to allow taxpayers to file their taxes directly with the government. The legislation excludes cuts to improved taxpayer services that have helped the IRS reduce wait times for calls.
IF THE HOUSE SENDS TO THE SENATE a bill that slashes IRS funding — while omitting any aid for Ukraine — there’s the very real threat of a veto. We still think Israel will get funding; Ukraine aid may stall.
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WE’RE CONSTANTLY ASKED whether there’s any scenario that could avoid a Joe Biden-Donald Trump brawl for the White House. The answer is probably no — barring a health issue for either man. But judicial activists are determined to block Trump’s inclusion on state election ballots, based on his alleged violation of the Constitution.
HEARINGS BEGAN THIS WEEK in Colorado, and are scheduled for Thursday in Minnesota to bar Trump from the ballot in both states, based on a provision in Section 3 of the 14th amendment to the Constitution, which passed after the Civil War. The provision forbids “insurrectionists” from running for federal office if they engaged in an uprising against the U.S. government.
MOST LEGAL EXPERTS WE HAVE TALKED WITH think this attempt to remove Trump from ballots has an uphill climb. Proponents would have to prove that Trump himself engaged in insurrection on Jan, 6, 2021; if there’s a court ruling that he actually did, that ruling would immediately go to the very conservative U.S. Supreme Court.
TRUMP AND HIS SUPPORTERS have vehemently condemned any attempt to keep him off ballots, and it goes without saying that they would mount a furious write-in campaign, accompanied by angry protests. So it looks like a Biden-Trump race; even if Trump has been convicted of crimes by the Nov. 5 election, he could still serve if elected, as court appeals would drag on for months or years.
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A SHOCKING REPORT: If you didn’t see it, we highly recommend the lengthy piece in yesterday’s New York Times on how Israel got blindsided in the days and weeks leading up to the Hamas sneak attack. Some intelligence experts were suspicious, but their warnings were largely ignored despite clear signs that Hamas was preparing for war.
ONCE THIS WAR ENDS, there will be a withering post-mortem that will focus on the once-mighty Israeli intelligence network, and the role played by Benjamin Netanyahu — who, according to the Times, wasn’t even woken up in the early hours of the attack.
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